Dr. Moses Iloh, an elder statesman in the vanguard of advocacy for justice and better living standard of citizens, in this interview with SUNDAY ODIBASHI, accuses people under investigation or prosecution for corruption of being behind the killings by Fulani herdsmen in order to divide the country; he supports that Nigerians should be patient with President Muhammadu Buhari.
AS an elder statesman in this country, are you perturbed by the killings in local communities in Enugu State by Fulani herdsmen?
The country is going astray from the change we fought for; the change that Nigerians expected, the change promised the Nigerian people by the All Progressives Congress (APC). I was one of those who stood for change. We advocated for change to make life better for all Nigerians.
The killings by Fulani herdsmen will disintegrate Nigeria. These herdsmen are on a mission to divide Nigeria. This is not the change we advocated for; this is not the change Nigerians voted for. Nigerians voted for a united country, a Nigeria that respects every ethnic group within its space; a Nigeria where life is better.
These killings by Fulani herdsmen are plots to blackmail President Muhammadu Buhari, make the country ungovernable so that he cannot continue the fight against corruption. The Fulani herdsmen may not be the ones killing people. There are people sponsoring them behind the scene.
In the past, we hear they fight only in the North. Recently, they moved to the South West where they kidnapped Chief Olu Falae in Akure, Ondo State; now, they have gone to Enugu in the South East to kill people in local communities.
These herdsmen went to Enugu to cause war. They want to provoke the local people to kill the Fulani back; then, the Federal Government will send soldiers to move in and begin to kill innocent souls who are defenseless. From there, the Igbo people will organise themselves to declare war and fight for self-defense or separation from the country called Nigeria. May be, from there the Niger Delta militants and their political leaders will declare their own separation from Nigeria, and the Yoruba group may declare their own and there will be no Nigeria.
So, there will be no Nigeria for Buhari to fight corruption. Those facing investigation or prosecution for corruption may be the people fighting secretly for the disintegration of the country. When you arrest or arraign them in court for corruption, they will ask you whose money, is it the money of Biafra or which country; they will tell you that Nigeria is no more, then, go free with their loots.
Therefore, President Buhari must stop these killings by Fulani herdsmen with urgency.
In Nigeria today, there is no Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba or Ibo, Ijaw or Nupe; there are three major ethnic groups. These are the corrupt and very rich people; the honest and not too rich people and the very poor. The corrupt and very rich loot the country’s treasury and make themselves so powerful with what they have stolen from government. The honest work hard for their money, they don’t acquire huge wealth but have enough to take care of themselves and people around them; the very poor are vulnerable and they are in the majority. The poor are manipulated by the corrupt and very rich to achieve political ambitions.
So, President Buhari must stand firm and stop the Fulani herdsmen who are killing people; they are on political assignment to destroy Nigeria.
Do you think the federal government proposal to combine Christian and Islamic studies in schools is solution to religious conflicts or insecurity?
First, Christianity is not a religion; Christianity is a way of life. It is a decision to change from your old ways and live a new life in Christ. You don’t study this anywhere. As I’m talking to you, Christ is ministering to you. So, you don’t study Christianity in school; Christianity is life.
I don’t know about of the study of Islam but they have their Imams preaching to them in their Mosques. And I am sure no Imam is teaching anybody to go and kill fellow human being in the name of religion.
The problem of Nigeria is not religion; it is corruption. Our politicians are corrupt and they use religion to manipulate people to kill. They loot our treasuries with impunity and induce the poor, who are hungry, to go and kill.
It is corruption that is destroying Nigeria, not Christianity or Islam. The corrupt rich buy guns, arm the poor and incite them to kill their neighbours. So, the government should fight corruption and not cause confusion in the education of children.
Can you say the war against corruption is still on track?
Yes, President Muhammadu Buhari is fighting corruption with all available means. The President is known for integrity, so, he will not want to do anything that will rubbish his name. All the agencies involved in the corruption war have been given full autonomy to perform their duties. They have the powers to investigate corrupt leaders and prosecute anyone indicted. The President doesn’t interfere with what they are doing, or issue directives on who should be picked or who should be exempted.
There are several cases going on in various courts, and some other persons are still being investigated. Besides, startling revelations of huge amount looted from the country’s treasury have been made since the emergence of Buhari.
The point is that fighting corruption is not easy. Those corrupt leaders you are fighting have ways of fighting back or frustrating the fight. Christians should pray fervently for Buhari to succeed.
President Buhari recently pleaded that Nigerians should be patient with him; do you agree with him?
President Buhari deserves the patience of Nigerians. Buhari came to rescue a Nigeria that was dead. When he was coming, he thought Nigeria was just sick, can be treated and be brought back to life. But when he assumed office, he found that Nigeria has since been dead and buried. So, he has to, first, exhume Nigeria from the grave before curing it and making it work. In doing all these, the President needs to experiment different therapies before the dead Nigeria will be resurrected and cured.
So, Nigerians should be patient with Buhari. He needs to take his time, understand the problem very well, then, bring the change we are all waiting for.
Do you believe in the recent Town Hall meetings organized by the ministers as way of making the government work better?
That is diversionary, it is clear distraction. They wasted work hours and resources. The economic crisis is deepening, crime and other social problems are increasing. The ministers should look inwards for policies that can make the change APC promised Nigerians realizable. The Town Hall meeting was a sign that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has failed in performing his duties. It is the duty of the Information Minister to tell Nigerians what the government is doing at all time. Lai Mohammed was a better spokesman as APC National Publicity Secretary than as Information Minister. He did so well during the campaigns but has not been doing well as minister of information. May be, the ministers used the town hall meetings to also cover their own failures because if they are doing well, their policies will speak for them. They don’t need to be traversing the country telling people what they have achieved, people will speak of their successes.